The Cincinnati Reds are playoff bound.
That doesn’t have much to do with this game, or a preview of this game. I just wanted to type it. It’s fun.
It’s hard to get too worked up for this game, though. I don’t anticipate it’ll be as bad as the Day after Clinchmas or anything. And the seeding isn’t necessarily all sewn up. But, the Reds are very probably locked into the 7th spot, and they are probably going to drawn Atlanta in the first round. That could change, but it very likely won’t.
So, today and tomorrow, we play out the string. It helps that, today at least, we get to see Luis Castillo on the mound for one last regular season start.
Castillo has been brilliant this month. In 28.2 innings pitched in September over four starts, Castillo has only given up four earned runs, striking out 33 and walking only nine. He’s OPS against is a miniscule .479. The Reds have won all four games.
On the other side of things, Michael Pineda will take the mound for the Twins. They’ve still got business to take care of, as they’re one game up on the White Sox for the AL Central crown. They don’t have to win, but the easiest thing for them to do to lock up the division is to beat the Reds.
Pineda has only pitched 22 innings this season, but they’ve been pretty good. He owns a 3.18 ERA (1.99 FIP) with 21 strikeouts against only four walks. His last outing was in Chicago against the Cubs, where he pitched five innings of one run ball as the Twins spanked the Cubs, 8-1.